Recovery Parenting 101 The DUI

04 February 2014 Written by 

The Phone Call… There were two missed phone calls showing up on my phone, Friday evening. The first was from my son, who typically only texts me and the second phone call was from “unknown”. Sadly, I knew from past experience the police department uses “Unknown” for their caller ID. I returned my son’s call with a racing heart, hoping he would answer... it went straight to voicemail. I quickly called “Unknown.” Not surprisingly it was the Sheriff’s department. Yes, my son had been arrested for a DUI and was being held until his scheduled appearance in court the next morning where his bond would be set. 

Typically, in the past I would have catastrophized: that is with few or no facts I would have created a catastrophe. “All was lost, the ship was going down, the world was ending”, you get the idea. In my recovery I had worked to find ways to stop this nasty habit.

  • I stay in the moment and ask myself “What is real? ”The only fact I knew was my son was in jail for a DUI, period.  That was all I knew to be real.
  • I also knew I could call my Sponsor. That's what I did.

Thankfully she answered and went over a simple strategy of what to do when and if he did call and ask me to pay his bail. With her help I slowly processed the shock. Missing his call turned out out to be a blessing because now I had time to process and respond instead of react.

I decided, after much discussion with my Sponsor to not bail him out if he called. My Mother’s heart seemed to be torn in half. Without my Sponsor’s straight talk about what was in his best interest, not what was easier on my Mother’s heart, I would not have had the strength to make this decision.

As it turned out, he was released without bail. He arrived home later the next day. His girlfriend had gone down and picked him up. He walked in head down and asked to talk to me outside. As far as he knew I had no clue what he had been through.

He started sobbing out his story, telling me how much he hadn’t meant to hurt me and how incredibly terrifying it is to be handcuffed and taken to jail.

I had wondered how I would respond to my son’s penitent heart and was grateful for the time I had with my Sponsor. I was able to hug and tell him I loved him no matter what and that he would get through this because the truth was this was his trial to get through, not mine.

I have been told the first DUI is called, ”The $20,000 cab ride” and I knew he had only just begun to see all the lessons his Higher Power would help him learn from his decision to drink and drive. I was not abandoning him, as my Mother’s heart had accused me of. I was honoring him as a grown man who could handle the tough stuff and clean up his own messes. In a way, I was loving him the way he needed to be loved.  

A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By Madeline Schloop

Read 2221 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 November 2016 16:50
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Madeline Schloop

Madeline is the widow of a man who died of alcoholism and the mother of 5 young adults whom she parents with the tools of Al-Anon. Her children continue to be affected by the disease of alcoholism. Her stories  deal with life's daily trials and what has and hasn't worked.
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